Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Competitor's house

The house we were competing with (the one with the matching address a block away, but listed for $10,000 more than our was), dropped in price by $5,000 today. I wonder when that one will sell.

No word on the roof yet, and I'm going nuts.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I have been trying to take my mind off the insurance adjuster going to the new house to look at the roof. I have been doing this by looking for towels for the master bath.

The new master will be almost an exact match to the old one. The only difference is that the paint color will have a little bit more gray in it. I want the master bath to have the same paint color as the master, so it all looks like one room.

Here is my master now:

I thought finding black-and-white towels would be a lot easier than it actually was. Black-and-white towels are either zebra print or polka dots – no thank you.

After several hours of searching I think I found the perfect towel (even though it's online only). I love the pattern; it looks like an even more modern spin on damask.

So once again, I am back to the waiting game about the roof. Even if the seller's insurance company covers part of the roof because of the hail damage, that would help out greatly. It just feels like every other day we are learning about another $500 or $1,000 we have to spend, and it's really getting depressing. The total is now at $7,800 (and this total does not include the $700 3 weeks ago spent on new tires, etc., for Brent's car).

When this is all said and done, I wonder if I'll even be able to afford towels?

Sunday, June 28, 2009


In the span of about 2 hours yesterday, Brent and I learned we get to drop an additional $1,600 plus change – this, in addition to the $3,500 for the new roof we learned about 2 weeks ago. Yes!

We got our negotiations back yesterday from the buyer, and he wants a radon mitigation system put in the basement. This involves drilling into the foundation, pipes, and other fun work that cost about $1,000.

So after that fabulous news, Brent and I leave to go have lunch with his parents, when his car dies. So after waiting in the heat for a tow truck, etc., we learn he needs a new alternator. Awesome! That's another $635 put on the tab for the month of June.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Roof Vibes Needed

Brent and I knew dream house needed a new roof, and the cost was going to be split with the owners – none of that is a surprise. What could possibly be a wonderful surprise though, was the hail damage found on the roof during the inspection. The owners are having their insurance guy out on Monday to check everything out. Because of the roof's age, I know the entire cost wouldn't be covered, but even $2,000 covered would be incredible. That's $1,000 that I wouldn't have to pay, and that just sounds like a beautiful thing.

In other fabulous home news: The owners agreed to replace their furnace, and even better, they agreed to upgrade to a 90/10! Yes!!!

The kitchen

Here's the photo I forgot to take several days ago of the kitchen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Today was inspection day for both houses, and it looks like there weren't any surprises. Our house did great, and the new house had issues with the roof and furnace, which were already agreed to be addressed.

I did get photos of the new house though (kitchen photos to come later) . Enjoy!

Living Room:

Dining Room:

Family Room:


Master bedroom:

The basement:

I love tickets!

Blink/Weezer tickets have been ordered!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We got an offer!

And it has nothing to do with crazy agent lady!

Some guy came to the open house today, and completely loved it. Thirty minutes after the open house ended, he came back for another showing with his girlfriend, mom and sister, who all loved the house.

At 9:30 tonight, we got the offer. While it's not perfect, it's better than offer #1 (which wasn't really difficult to do).

The offer:
- $5,000 below asking price
- We pay closing costs
- Wants kitchen appliances
- Wants washer & dryer
- Home warranty

The counter:
- Asking price
- We will pay closing costs
- Gets kitchen appliances
- No to the washer & dryer
- Gets home warranty

So now it's the waiting game. :)

On the Market: Day 6

Number of Showings: 11
Number of Agent Previews: 1

Comments from Showing #10: This home shows so well. It is just immaculate and the sellers have done a great job with everything. The organization and the staging is wonderful. Great closet space and the kitchen is really nice. My buyer is just set on having a dining room. She entertains a lot and doesn't feel like there is enough room for her table/hutch. But this is a great home. A pleasure to show.

Our first open house is today. Hopefully Father's Day won't slow down the potential buyers.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

On the Market: Day 5

Number of Showings: 10
Number of Agent Previews: 1

Comments from Showing #8: None yet. :(

Comments from Showing #9: Adorable and great condition, however it is a little out of my buyer's price range in terms of negotiating. Thanks.

Comments from Showing #10: None yet. :(

On the Market: Day 4

Number of Showings: 7
Number of Agent Previews: 1

Comments from Showing #6: My buyer loves the home and this is in her Top 2 List. She really like the layout of the home and the inside basement entrance. She wishes there was a larger dining area and inside backyard entrance, but she still really likes the home. Thank you, Laura

Comments from Showing #7: (This is the lady for put the joke of an offer in. And she put a worse offer in after this viewing with that appraisal BS)

Friday, June 19, 2009

I don't think that's supposed to happen

So the lady who put the offer on the house came back for another showing tonight. Brent and I received the new offer.

Question: Aren't offers supposed to get better? This one was worse for us than her last counter.

The offer:
- Full price
- We pay closing costs
- She has an appraiser come out. If our house is too high in price, she gets the new appraised price. If we back out, we have to pay for appraisal and inspection costs.

Ummm...what? Let's just say I've never had an easier time saying no.

Patti thinks the potential buyer really wants the house, and that it's actually the agent being an asshat about everything. So potential buyer, if you're reading this – ditch your agent. She's not doing you any favors.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Our first offer

We got an offer today from showing #4. It's exciting to get an offer, but their offer was definitely not exciting.

Their offer was:
- $7,500 below asking price
- Requested closing costs paid for
- Wanted kitchen appliances
- Wanted washer and dryer
- Wanted year warranty on furnace, etc.

Our counter was:
- $3,500 below asking price
- Add $3,000 to the loan, and we will pay the closing costs
- Yes to the kitchen appliances
- Fuck no on the washer and dryer
- Yes to the warranty

I don't expect them to say yes, and I'm okay with that. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. The house should get tons of attention this weekend, and I'm excited about that.

Update: She countered my counter, and I just declined the offer. It felt surprisingly good saying no. Hopefully we'll have a fabulous open house this weekend.

On the Market: Day 3

Number of Showings: 5
Number of Agent Previews: 1

Comments from Agent Preview #1: Cute house. I will try to show this one ASAP.

Showing #4 went really well. The agent called Patti and told her she'd most likely be giving her an offer tonight. :)

Showing #5 is scheduled from 4:30 to 5:30 tonight, and it's with the agent who previewed the house today. She totally meant ASAP. Good for her.

Comments from Showing #5: Buyer likes this home, but is thinking about it. The condition of the house to the West is a concern to her -- rest of block looks great. Nice dry basement!

Major Roof Drama

Drama. Not with our beautiful one-month-old roof, but with Dream House's roof. Brent and I knew going in that we'd be stuck with getting a new roof in 5 years or so. It wouldn't be fun, but we loved the house – so we'd make it work.

Today, we had our roof guy, Jim, drive by the house to get opinions, oh, and opinions we got. First of all he didn't know if the roof would pass the inspection because it needed lots of love. But more importantly, since the roof has 2 layers of wood, he didn't think we'd even be able to get it insured. Ummm, what?

Brent calls Shelter Insurance, and sure enough, they do not cover 2 layers of wood on a roof, and therefore, do not insure those houses. Apparently this is a new thing insurance companies are doing. Best part: Shelter doesn't think any insurance company covers those roofs anymore.

Now it was my turn to call Patti freaking out. Patti has never heard of this before, so she is now calling different insurance companies before telling Dream House owners the wonderful news – they need a new roof.

On the Market: Day 2

Number of Showings: 3

Comments from Showing #3: Cute house!! Shows well. Buyer does like it--not sure about the price and would prefer to have 3 bedrooms on the main floor.

*Okay, so technically this should be yesterday June 17. June 18th will come once new feedback is in, because, that's right, we have another showing :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me!

It's Brent's and my 2-year anniversary today. With that, and the house listing today – I think I got the idea magic would happen or something. I have to admit, I'm slightly bummed we only had one walk through today.

Hopefully the agent open house this afternoon worked some magic, and people will start showing up tomorrow. I will just feel so much better once this puppy sells.

On the Market: Day 1

Number of Showings: 2

Comments from Showing #2: This is a very cute house, I am not sure this is going to be in her price range. We love the house, we will look at her finances and get back to you. Please let me know if you get a contract.

Agent Open House

The agent open house is going on right now, and that's all I can think about. I'm curious about how many agents stopped by, and what opinions they have about the house.

We had a showing this morning, so much for my late-start, sleep-in day.


I have been admiring these vases from CB2 for awhile now, but I have been waiting for them to go on sale, and I am so happy that I did. $13 for both of them with shipping included? Arm has been pulled and twisted. I love them and think they'll looked fabulous in our new family room.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Numbers Begin

Days on the Market: Well, since it's officially listed tomorrow, day -1.

Number of Showings: 1

Comments from Showing #1: Very cute house. Nicely decorated and nice sized bedrooms. Buyer doesn't care for patio entry thru garage, but it's still on the short list. Thanks for the showing.

Damn straight it's nicely decorated.
It's a sad day when I'm too busy at work to go to a free CS4 Photoshop class. :(

Where Are You?

Is it bad that I'm stalking the Prudential Web site to see when our house gets listed?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Well, that was fun

We talked to Patti this afternoon, and she informed us that since our house gets an MLS number tomorrow, there might actually be people visiting it – even though the agent open house isn't until Tuesday. So Brent and I lost our extra day to get everything done. Awesome.

What is awesome though is that we are done!

Well, kind of. The drywall guy is coming back tomorrow now that everything is dry to paint the wall and ceiling. Patti said there were no issues with this going on while a possible tour is, since the house isn't officially on the market tomorrow – so I will *try* not to freak out about it.

That being said, I hope no one visits tomorrow.

Macintosh "helps" out

While repainting the front door black, Macintosh decided it was time to help out. Somehow he managed to get his paw in the paint tray and walk around the living room. All I can say is thank God for hardwood floors, because everything wiped up easily.

Because the bathtub was being soaked with bleach, Big Mac got to experience the kitchen sink.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Decluttering: Day 1

Today we decluttered closets and kitchen cabinets. Here are some of the before and afters.

The coat closet:

The office closet

Light Fixture Updates

The touch ups are completed – here are the before and afters.

The basement stairwell:

The offi

The bathroom:


2 Huge Things

1. Our house has a for sale sign in the yard. We officially get our MLS number on Monday, and then Tuesday we are having the agent open house.

2. We got the house!!! I know we are doing things backwards, but everyone is confident that this house will sell quickly, and in the dream house contract we gave ourselves a late closing date.

As for today, time to declutter the closets.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Holy Geez!

Come Tuesday our house will be on the market! Patti and Bruce came by and loved our house. They are going to list it for $7,000 more than we expected.

They said a house down the street listed at 2 p.m. today for $169,500. It's a 2 bed, 1 bath, just like ours. There are only 2 differences: theirs has a dining room and basement access is only through the garage. Ours will be listing for $157,500 – and since our houses are just around the block from one another – we hope the price difference will be noticed quickly. Especially because the agent open houses are scheduled for the same day (so evil).

As for dream house – since our house listed for way more than expected, we decided to use Patti and Bruce for the other house as well. In the offer we submitted them tonight, we just requested that they pay half of the agent's fee...and our closing costs. We are expecting the offer to be countered, and will go from there.

I can't believe we actually put an offer on the house, but since Patti and Bruce are confident about our house (and how quickly they are selling in Fairway), so we are as well. We put the closing date (Aug. 31) far enough back to give us some room, and if all else fails – we can back out after the inspection.

Eeeee! So excited.

Another Furever Home Found

The couple Brent and I did a home visit for last week, adopted Jackson over the weekend. He is a 9-month-old Westie full of energy, and is getting along great with his new brother and sister. Brent and I thought Kim and Donna were awesome, and are so happy they found a new addition to their home.

The New Game Plan

I'm sure tonight there will be another new plan in oh, 10 minutes, but as of right now – this is the plan:

Brent and I are going to have Patti sell our house, and then we are going to go after the other house without an agent. While this isn't ideal, since that house is For Sale By Owner, we'd have to pay another 6% on that house, and I'm just not in the mood to spend $26,000 on agent fees. Even if the seller agreed to pay half of her fee, we'd still owe $18,000 – no thank you.

Thankfully, Patti was one of my best friend in high school's moms, so she adores me and is willing to help us write up a contract for dream house either way.

We are getting together tonight to discuss our house and dream house. Tonight we find out how much Patti thinks we should list our house for – so I need big-bucks vibes.

As for dream house, I'm fine with paying full price, as long as they pay closing costs and we get to keep the kitchen appliances – stainless steel, yes please. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The list

I'm sure Patti will add to the list when she goes through our house Thursday night, but here it is so far.

Living Room

- Put up the new blinds in the living room (done)
- Cut the blinds down to the correct height (done)
- Buy paint for front door (done)
- Paint the front door (done)
- Clean rug
- Clean sofa (done)

- Cut the blinds down to the correct height (done)
- Replace tile by the dishwasher

- Buy paint for bathroom tile (done)
- Paint the bathroom tile (done)
- Get sticker off bathroom light (done)

- Clean off desk (done)
- Remove paint tape from office ceiling fan (done)
- Clean rug

- Organize closet (done)

- Attempt to clean the 2 stains on the guest bedroom carpet

- Paint the door doing into the garage
- Clean the garage (done)

- Finish the windows (glaze needs to dry until Friday)
- Paint the shutters
- Trim bushes in the front


We got pre-approved for the new amount! :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

We got pre-approved!!!

Now it's time to figure out the other stuff. Eeee!!!

Update: F, I forgot to include the agent fee in the pre-approval amount. I just sent the broker an email asking if we are approved for $5,000 more. (I don't know our exact approval amount, because we just wanted to know if we were approved for dream house or not. He just called tonight to say we were good and that he would send other details tomorrow). So, apparently we are waiting again.

Bucket of nerves

Yesterday was so busy, I kind of lack words.

While at work, I received an e-mail from the "perfect-house home owner." He said they still hadn't received the official offer from the other lady, but even when/if they do, they were thinking about going with us instead if we agreed to a contingency (ummm, yes please). This news was a dream come true, but also nerve racking, because we aren't pre-approved yet.

We tried getting pre-approved a month or so ago, but Brent and I have decided our mortgage broker is now a tool, because returning phone calls apparently isn't his thing. He was great to work with 3 years ago with our first house, but apparently things have changed. So yesterday morning, we gathered info about other recommended brokers from friends and our real estate agent.

I talked to one broker yesterday, and I should hear back sometime this morning. I'm not going to lie, I am terrified. Brent's dad is positive that we will be denied a loan. He has had this attitude for the past several weeks, and it's brought my confidence way down.

Brent and I have done the math though. Even with a higher interest rate, the taxes, the higher bills, etc., we can still afford the monthly house payment and have room for air. So hopefully in this economy, that still counts for something.

When I got home, the handyman was soon over giving us a drywall estimate. Since the roof is now fixed, the water damage in the bathroom can now be addressed. He came in way below our insurance estimate, so I am going to have him paint the ceiling in there as well. Our bathroom ceiling is beyond special, and he said a paint with a sand-like texture would help cover up the divets (sold). Hopefully he can start that fun tomorrow.

Once he left, I started painting the bathroom tile around the shower. (Yes, you can paint tile. And you especially want to when your tile is pink like ours. That was one of the first things we did when we moved in, but it's been 3 years, so it was time to scrap and repaint around the shower).

Other things I worked on: Painting the door to the backyard and taping off the windows.

If we do get pre-approved today, yesterday's activities was just a warm up for todays. If we don't get pre-approved today, we will try again with several other brokers, but most likely just watch TV tonight.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Windows: Day 3

The 4 living room windows have all been glazed. Now we just have to wait for a nice day for painting them.

Brent and I went back to the dream house today for another open house. The owners remembered us, and we talked for awhile. He said they received word they word be receiving an offer soon – they just didn't now how high or low it would be. They now know we are seriously interested in the house, so who knows. We did exchange e-mail addresses, so they could keep us up to date on the status situation.

I love this house so much, but I really don't think we are going to get it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sell baby sell

My grandparent's neighborhood garage sale is this weekend. Brent and I went through the closets, basement and cabinets, in attempts of decluttering.

Even though we donated a bunch of household stuff to a charity 2 months ago, we still managed to have plenty of items for the garage sale. Where does all this crap come from?

I am happy to say, the rest of the wedding decor is in the garage sale. The centerpieces and paper lanterns were sold right after the wedding, so this garage sale contains the random leftovers – bubbles, vases, dragon tears and 2 pairs of wedding shoes that I decided against at the last minute, and while they were never worn, were still nonreturnable.

I don't expect to get much for anything at the garage sale. I would even be excited by $40. That would help out with the frames and matting for the artwork bought.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New gutters

We got new gutters today. Goodbye random knicks and dings.

In other news: My head still hurts from where I smacked my head on Sunday, and I still have a nice bump on it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wall art bought

I love the look going on in my guest bedroom, but it's really difficult to find artwork for it. The look is modern, seaside.

The only artwork I have found that goes with this feeling is my modern lighthouse painting, which I love.

After being bored at work today though, I found several other pieces that will go with the look. The circle print will go above the bed, and the other print is the same size as my lighthouse print and will be paired with it.

Wine acessories

I like wine; I like accessories – so these are a perfect fit.

I can't exactly think of a time I'd be drinking wine outside in the grass sans patio or deck, but these wine holders still seem like a good idea to me.

And I love these cheese spreaders. I've had an obsession with spreaders since I was little (I blame it on my mom for having too large of a variety, and always letting me pick which ones she used for parties), and I think these are fun without being over the top.


I can honestly say, I have never had this much fun designing wedding invitations (even my own). The couple is doing an old-Hollywood wedding, so we decided to do playbill-themed invitations.

I thought they turned out super cute, if I do say so myself.

New gutters tomorrow

A crew is coming out later this afternoon to take off our gutters, and we are getting new ones tomorrow morning. While I don't see it making a visual difference with our house, I'm rather excited about being able to list our house with a new roof and gutters. Even better – due to hail damage, our insurance company covered both. :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Windows: Day 2 (aka: the real Day 1)

Well, I guess it's good we didn't mega far yesterday, because we would have been redoing a hell of a lot more than we already are. Apparently, you don't caulk windows. Our handyman let us in on the secret while he was over replacing light fixtures.

You are supposed to us Window Glazing. You roll it like dough, put it around the edges and then use a putty knife at an angle to make a clean line. When Rex showed us how to do it this morning it looked so easy. Three hours later, we only have half a window done.


Edit: An hour later, the heat started making the putty too sticky to work worth, so we said "f it" and went to the pool.